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  • 09.28.16

The author of Airbnb’s anti-discrimination report says it misunderstood how to address the issue

Airbnb hired Laura Murphy, the former head of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington, D.C. legislative office, to review its anti-discrimination policies after a study found that hosts with black-sounding names had a more difficult time booking a stay. According to Politico, Murphy discussed Airbnb’s efforts during a roundtable discussion that included representatives from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. “This problem had been percolating for the last two years,” she said, referring to property owners discriminating against non-white guests. “The company thought it was addressing this issue by having a team of white engineers look at the algorithms they were using to address discrimination.” SK